Ministry of Maori Development chief executive-designate Michelle Hippolite says the department could in future help other indigenous peoples around the world.
Ms Hippolite, the Maori leader at the national museum Te Papa Tongarewa, takes over the role of chief executive from Leith Comer in December. Mr Comer leaves the position at the end of November.
Maori Affairs Miniser Pita Sharples says Ms Hippolite has built strong credibility and wide networks among Maori, New Zealand communities, as well as overseas.
Ms Hippolite aims to continue to create access and opportunities for Maori in areas such as economics.
She says the ministry could then take those ideas internationally and begin conversations between indigenous people.
Ms Hippolite says the Ministry of Maori Development (Te Puni Kokiri) will not be able to answer all the questions those talks might raise about indigenous development, but will be able to play a key role in those conversations.